Sure, almost all of us have seen those hobby drones that you can now buy inexpensively and fly with very little training. You may have even seen how Amazon is putting them to work on NerdBeach. But have you ever wanted to ride in one, as in to have your own personal drone that you can fly? Workhorse Group may be able to help you with that wish, and you just mind find that it is a practical ride that beats today’s typical commuting problems.
A Personal Drone With Joystick Control
The hybrid octocopter sports, as its name suggests, eight rotors driven by carefully modulated electric motors. The Surefly Personal Helicopter uses today’s technology to create a vehicle that, according to the manufacturer, is safer, cheaper, and easier to fly than today’s helicopters. And having a little experience with rotorcraft, I can certainly say that they have a lot of room for improvement from the training requirements. The Surefly has taken the standard aviation controls and simplified them to the use of a joystick, so it is closer to flying a hobbyist drone than a helicopter, which is what I would precisely want from my own drone.
The Surefly gets its power from an onboard gasoline engine, which allows the nimble craft to have a 70-mile range with a two-passenger seating capacity and a payload of 400 pounds. And just in case the engine quits on you, battery cells on the aircraft allow operational control without the generator running. The personal drone is even equipped with a ballistic parachute, just in case you want another margin of safety. And with the rotors folded up, the Surefly takes up about the same space as your typical pickup.
The expected street (air?) price for the Workhorse Group Surefly Personal Helicopter is estimated to be around $200k, but you can reserve one today with a refundable deposit as low as $1000. You still have some time, since full vehicle certification is slated for 2019, but if you want a closer look it should be on display at the next CES this January.